Fires will cause many types of damage to your home, one of them of course being from smoke. Smoke smell after a fire can be very concerning to homeowners as not only is it unpleasant but it also affects the air quality of the home and can be hazardous to health. Naturally, you want to have this odor removed as quickly as possible but it definitely proves to be a challenge.
In many cases, it will not be worth your time and effort to even attempt to do this on your own. If the fire was large and/or the home was exposed to smoke for a length of time, it will be necessary to have a professional to handle the odor removal. The materials that were burning also makes a difference. Some materials produce odors that are more difficult to remove than others. A fire that is burning wood will be much different than burning plastic. Professionals will have specialized equipment that will be able to remove the smoke odor completely such as air scrubbers, ozone generators, thermal fogging units and hydroxyl generators.
Smoke smell can be extremely difficult to remove as the tiny particles of smoke will attach to objects in your home, especially to anything that is porous. Paint, fabric materials and carpeting particularly will soak up the smell. If the fire was not too serious you may be able to try some tips to get rid of the smell.
- Remove all fabrics and wash or dry clean them. This will include furniture covers, pillows, blankets, and curtains.
- All area rugs will need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Carpet that cannot be removed should be cleaned with a steam cleaner or you can try sprinkling baking soda and letting it sit for a number of hours. Vacuum up the baking soda using a vacuum with a HEPA filter so that the particles of smoke are not blown back in.
- Wash all surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer. Wash walls, ceilings, floors, baseboards, blinds and light fixtures. Wash the mop out often so that you are not simply spreading smoke particles around the floors. Also wash window frames, sills, windows and window screens.
- Air out the house. Open up all the windows and doors to allow for a good air circulation of fresh air. You can also set up fans directed to blow the air outside to help push the smoke smell out.
- It is important to have your HVAC system cleaned out. Get a professional to do this for you. Smoke will remain in the ventilation system which will seriously impact your home’s air quality. Be sure to also change the filters on your system as soon as possible.
- Air purifiers can help as well. Placing bowls of vinegar or activated charcoal may also help with the odor.
After these attempts, if you still have smoke odor in the home, it is probably necessary to replace some of your belongings. Items like carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture may have absorbed too much smoke and no amount of cleaning will successfully remove the smell. Paint can also absorb odors and so repainting your home may be required.
Smoke odor removal is a hefty amount of work especially without professional equipment. Not everyone is up to the job and if you had a large fire it will not be possible to handle it yourself. Restoration Mate has all of the expertise and equipment to get your home smelling fresh once again.